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What’s The Word on spoken word and poetry?

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Though hip-hop has advanced way beyond anyone’s expectation over the past 40 years, some tend to forget about it’s roots. Poetry, especially spoken word, has been around the block more than a few times and still continues to give people around the world the ability to express themselves through clever rhymes and unique flows.

Any poetry lover knows about the Nuyorican Poet’s Cafe in the Lower East Side. The sanctuary of spoken word has been around for decades and has been home to some of the most talented poets New York City has to offer. Every Friday night, the cafe is jammed-packed with people from around the world who come to hear poets perform their latest poetic tales.


This past Friday’s event was hosted by The Source alum Mahogany Browne. With the sounds of real, old school hip-hop by DJ Jive Poetic, Browne introduced several acts as they stepped up to the mic and laid down some serious and dope rhymes.

“The community that provides a listening ear is important to this process as the artist could just be participating in an open mic,” said Browne. “In this type of format, the artist learns what the people are touched by and inspired from.”

Poetic slayers like Chauvet Bishop, Tarishi “Midnight” Shuler, and more took the stage and gave the crowd a piece of their lives with their poems. One of the more experienced poets, Omar Holmon, dominated the crowd with the realest pieces of the night. He laid out poems like “The Awkward Male’s Hand Manual to Whatevers: Chapter 2 When The Beat Drops” and “Copper”. But the crowd went wild with his most honest countdown of “10 Things I Want To Say To A Black Nerd (After Falu)”. After heavy deliberation, the judges dubbed Holmon the winner of the Slam.

Keep it locked to for more updates on spoken word around New York City.

– Tony Centeno (@_tonyMC)